Doctor Haiyang Zhang

Dr Haiyang Zhang is a Research Fellow at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment. His research topics are plant-microbes interaction and how these interactions response and drive carbon and nutrients cycle. Specifically, I mainly focus on how plant communicates with mycorrhizal fungi (arbuscular mycorrhizal (AMF) and ectomycorrhizal fungi) and nitrogen-fixing organisms, and how these plant-symbiotic associations affect plant carbon allocation (growth and storage), competition and co-existence under variable environments.

During my PhD, I have studies shrub encroachment along a 1200-km transect across Inner Mongolia grassland and investigate the transfer of fixed nitrogen (N) from legume shrub (nurse plant, has the potential to restore the degrading ecosystem) to non-legume grasses. I have worked at Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (Jena, Germany) and investigated the mechanisms that how plant carbohydrates control AMF-mediated N transfer using isotopic labeling (13C and 15N) technology.

Dr Haiyang Zhang joined HIE as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in October 2017. He is currently working on “Pastures and Climate Extreme (PACE)” project, targeting plant symbiotic association. PACE aims to examine how will predicted climate scenarios (i.e. rainfall and temperature extremes) affect the productivity, quality, and resilience of pasture systems in coming decades.

Awards / Scholarships

  • DAAD-CSC Joint Program for postdoctoral fellowship (2015-2017)
  • Doctoral Promotion scholarship from Max-Planck-Institute (2012-2014)


Churchill AC, Zhang H, Fuller KJ, Amiji B, Anderson IC, Barton CVM, Carrillo Y, Catunda KLM, Chandregowda MH, Igwenagu C, Jacob V, Kim GW, Macdonald CA, Medlyn BE, Moore BD, Pendall E, Plett JM, Post AK, Powell JR, Tissue DT, Tjoelker MG, Power SA, (2022) 'Pastures and Climate Extremes: Impacts of Cool Season Warming and Drought on the Productivity of Key Pasture Species in a Field Experiment', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.13, Article no.836968

Zhang H, Powell JR, Plett JM, Churchill AC, Power SA, Macdonald CA, Jacob V, Kim GW, Pendall E, Tissue D, Catunda KM, Igwenagu C, Carrillo Y, Moore BD, Anderson IC, (2021) 'Climate warming negates arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal reductions in soil phosphorus leaching with tall fescue but not lucerne', Soil Biology and Biochemistry, vol.152, Article no.108075

Zhang H, Powell JR, Power SA, Churchill AC, Plett JM, Macdonald CA, Jacob V, Kim GW, Pendall E, Tissue DT, Catunda KLM, Igwenagu C, Carrillo Y, Moore BD, Anderson IC, (2021) 'Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal-mediated reductions in N2O emissions were not impacted by experimental warming for two common pasture species', Pedobiologia, vol.s 87-88, Article no.150744

Jacob V, Zhang H, Churchill AC, Yang J, Choat B, Medlyn BE, Power SA, Tissue DT, (2020) 'Warming reduces net carbon gain and productivity in medicago sativa l. And festuca arundinacea', Agronomy, vol.10, no.10, Article no.1601

Jiang MK, Caldararu S, Zhang HY, Fleischer K, Crous KY, Yang JY, De Kauwe MG, Ellsworth DS, Reich PB, Tissue DT, Zaehle S, Medlyn BE, (2020) 'Low phosphorus supply constrains plant responses to elevated CO2: A meta-analysis', Global Change Biology, vol.26, no.10, pp 5856-5873

Qiu Z, Wang J, Delgado-Baquerizo Manuel, Trivedi P, Egidi E, Chen YM, Zhang HY, Singh BK, (2020) 'Plant Microbiomes: Do Different Preservation Approaches and Primer Sets Alter Our Capacity to Assess Microbial Diversity and Community Composition?', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.11, Article no.993

Rillig MC, Aguilar-Trigueros CA, Anderson IC, Antonovics J, Ballhausen M-B, Bergmann J, Bielcik M, Chaudhary VB, Deveautour C, Grunfeld L, Hempel S, Lakovic M, Lammel DR, Lehmann A, Lehmann J, Leifheit EF, Liang Y, Li EQ, Lozano YM, Manntschke A, Mansour I, Oviatt P, Pinek L, Powell JR, Roy J, Ryo M, Sosa-Hernandez MA, Veresoglou SD, Wang DW, Yang GW, Zhang HY, (2020) 'Myristate and the ecology of AM fungi: significance, opportunities, applications and challenges', New Phytologist, vol.227, no.6, pp 1610-1614, Special Issue: SI

Wang XG, Lu XT, Zhang HY, Dijkstra FA, Jiang YG, Wang, X-B, Lu JY, Wuyunna, Wang ZW, Han XG, (2020) 'Changes in soil C:N:P stoichiometry along an aridity gradient in drylands of northern China', Geoderma, vol.361, Article no.114087

Wang XG, Lu XT, Dijkstra FA, Zhang HY, Wang XB, Wuyunna, Wang ZW, Feng J, Han XG, (2019) 'Changes of plant N:P stoichiometry across a 3000-km aridity transect in grasslands of northern China', Plant and Soil, vol.443, no.s 1-2, pp 107-119

Zhang HY, Hartmann H, Gleixner G, Thoma M, Schwab VF, (2019) 'Carbon isotope fractionation including photosynthetic and post-photosynthetic processes in C-3 plants: Low [CO2] matters', Geochimica Et Cosmochimica ACTA, vol.245, pp 1-15

Zhang HY, Lu XT, Hartmann H, Keller A, Han XG, Trumbore S, Phillips RP, (2018) 'Foliar nutrient resorption differs between arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal trees at local and global scales', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol.27, no.7, pp 875-885

Zhang HY, Lu XT, Knapp AK, Hartmann H, Bai E, Wang XB, Wang ZW, Wang XG, Yu Q, Han XG, (2018) 'Facilitation by leguminous shrubs increases along a precipitation gradient', Functional Ecology, vol.32, no.1, pp 203-213, Special Issue: SI

Long M, Wu H, Smith M, La Pierre K, Lü X, Zhang H, Han X, Yu Q, (2016) ‘Nitrogen deposition promotes phosphorus uptake of plants in a semi-arid temperate grassland’, Plant and Soil, vol.408, no.s 1-2, pp 475-484

Quan Z, Huang B, Lu C, Shi Y, Chen X, Zhang H, Fang Y, (2016) ‘The fate of fertilizer nitrogen in a high nitrate accumulated agricultural soil’, Scientific reports, vol.6, Article no. 21539

Zhang H, Yu Q, Lü X, Trumbore S, Yang J, Han X, (2016) ‘Impacts of leguminous shrub encroachment on neighboring grasses include transfer of fixed nitrogen’, Oecologia, vol.180, pp 1213-1222

Zhang H, Ziegler W, Han X, Trumbore S, Hartmann H, (2015) ‘Plant carbon limitation does not reduce nitrogen transfer from arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi to Plantago lanceolata’, Plant and Soil, vol.396, no.s 1-2, pp 369-380

Zhang H, Wu H, Yu Q, Wang Z, Wei C, Long M, Kattge J, Smith M, Han X, (2013) ‘Sampling date, leaf age and root size: implications for the study of plant C: N: P stoichiometry’, PLoS ONE, 8, e60360

Wei C, Zheng H, Li Q, Lü X, Yu Q, Zhang H, Chen Q, He N, Kardol P, Liang W, Han X, (2012) ‘Nitrogen addition regulates soil nematode community composition through ammonium suppression’ PLoS ONE, vol.7, e43384